For those of us without a tool to measure mileage on the MRG, here is an estimate of the mileage between points.
DudleyBridge<.36 >PriceChop<.75>MascomaBridge<.28 >1-89Bridge<.48 miles> SlaytonHill<.6 miles>Kiosk
If you start at the Price Chopper parking lot access on the Miracle Mile (RT. 4/Mechanic St.) and go left (West), it is .36 mile to the Dudley Bridge. If you loop back by way of the path along the river, you will have traveled a .76 mile loop back to the parking lot access road.
If you start at the Price Chopper access road and go right (East), it is .75 mile to the middle of the bridge over the Mascoma River (near Timken.)
Continuing eastward it is .28 mile to the middle of the bridge over Interstate 89.
Then .48 mile from the middle of the Interstate bridge to the middle of the Slayton Hill Overpass by Alice Peck Day Hospital.
It is then .6 mile to the kiosk at the intersection of Mascoma, Mechanic and High Streets.
At some point we will have a map of the MRG drawn to scale . . . but in the meantime, we have these estimates.
(Thanks to Paul Coats and Rainie Kelly for these estimates.)
Such a treat to meet this couple on the Mascoma River Greenway this morning. Their home has easy access to the trail and they walk the MRG almost every day. He can walk to work on the trail; it takes 15 minutes by car and 30 minutes walking by way of the MRG. He says he prefers walking because the trail is so beautiful. She starts a new job in January and will also walk the MRG to work. They are currently a 2-car family but are planning to get rid of one car since they find they don’t need two. They were both so enthusiastic about the trail!
This couple embodies what many of us hoped would actually happen – commuting by rail trail. (We also met a fellow on a bike who had just done his shopping at Price Chopper ; he was heading home with his grocery bags hanging from the handlebars. Love seeing the trail as a functional resource as well as recreational!)
Distracted by the beauty of the river last week, we neglected to get a photo of progress on this bridge over the Mascoma River, behind Timken. Vandals struck in the meantime, tearing down the barriers, throwing barrier barrels down the bank, smashing the windows of one of the construction vehicles nearby, etc. . . . a frustrating set-back for those eager for progress on this wonderful community resource.
The good news is that areas that had previously been muddy, have been graded and improved, and were dry in spite of the recent rain.
Meetings are being planned to problem-solve the two ends of the MRG, (closure of the downtown tunnel connection to the Northern Rail Trail and failed plans for the Iron Horse Park in West Leb present challenges on both ends.) Also being planned: Kiosks, maps, signage, benches, tables, naming plaques, access points, land purchase, Glen Road options, soft opening, grand opening!
We set out to check on the progress of that blocked bridge over the Mascoma River. We can tell you that the middle section is almost finished – the rails are up – but we can’t show you; we were so distracted by the beauty of the river, we forgot to take a photo of the bridge. Next time!
Looking north from the MRG bridge over the Mascoma River – distractingly beautiful!
Southward view from the MRG bridge over the Mascoma River
And you meet the nicest people along the trail!
Reminders from the Railroad’s Past
Next time we’ll bring a tree identification book – such varied leaves scattered across the trail!
Intersection of Mascoma, Mechanic and High streets
Wow! Most of the eastern end of the MRG has a base paving, up to the blocked bridge over the Mascoma River. (There is a gap at one point where sewer line work will occur – Lebanon Public Works will then pave that section and the whole stretch will get a top coat.) A smooth paved surface will allow for all non-motorized uses including wheelchairs, baby strollers, skateboards, and in-line skating.
Near the underpass by APD looking eastward
Near underpass by APD looking westward
We will report on Friday on the status of that blocked bridge over the Mascoma River.
Eager to know the progress on the blocked bridge over the Mascoma River, we set off on a westerly walk starting near APD. Great progress on the installation of safety railings! Much of the trail is set on a rise above the surrounding land and the drop-offs are potentially dangerous.
Looking westward near APD and the underpass.
Others have discovered the trail.
On one side of the trail is Longacres – on the other side is this small pond. We spotted two pileated woodpeckers and a Downy woodpecker as well as three ducks paddling and dabbling in the pond. Red-winged blackbirds flew in and out of the tall reeds.
Pileated Woodpecker – Googling, we find: “PILEATED (Woodpecker) – PIE-lee-ay-tid, PILL-ee-ay-tid (having a pileus or cap). Two alternate versions listed from the dictionary. If it bothers you when people say it differently than you do, lighten up.
Bridge over Mascoma River – imagine being the one to install the railing – those with fear of heights need not apply.
There is planking across the bridge and some of the railing has been installed. The bridge is not yet open, but is definitely progressing.
Biker heading back eastward.
Back where we started near APD, enjoying the Autumn light.
Loving that golden glow!
Lots of safety railing has been built in the past few day, not just on the overpass bridge, but all along that area.